Green is the new black in many parts of the world, but does the same ethos hold in Malaysia? Believe it or not, yes!
According to our PropertyGuru Malaysia Consumer Sentiment Study H1 2020, more Malaysians than ever are considering the factors of sustainability and energy-saving when it comes to buying a home.
There are plenty of benefits to living in a green home. As the popular saying goes, "health is wealth", and an eco-friendly home encourages us to improve our health.
It also helps us contribute to the formation and maintenance of a healthy environment. An eco-friendly neighbourhood, in turn, breeds a mindful community and a collective stream of habits that allow our planet to heal and thrive.
If you aren’t already living green, how and where do you start? Luckily, more and more properties and developments now exist with the goal of sustainable living in mind.
But wait! Before you decide, here are our 10 top favourite green homes in Malaysia to kick-start your inspiration.
1. Clay Roof House
Architect: DRTAN LM Architect
Located at the heart of Petaling Jaya, The Clay Roof is an excellent example of adaptive reuse. Before its transformation, the house was old and dilapidated, and its new owners wanted it revamped into a green home.
With that in mind, the architects at DRTAN LM reused old building materials to create the house’s contemporary aesthetics today.
Since the house’s original Indian clay roof tiles were still in good condition, they were optimised to allow the right amount of morning and afternoon sun to come into its interiors. Their positioning also meant that airflow is naturally controlled.
2. The Light Collection 1
Developer: IJM Land
With a uniformed façade that pleases one’s gaze, The Light House Collection 1 condominium in Gelugor, Penang, is undeniably out to impress upon first sight.
But there’s more to this property than meets the eye. While differing in sizes, each unit comes equipped with a smart home system that operates security, home automation, and lights and fans automation through a single central command interface.
Now, how’s that for some modern-day island living?
3. Knikno House
Architect: Fabian Tan Architect
At 2,700 sq ft, the semi-detached, two-level Knikno House is incredibly spacious. We would also say that its location in the nature-filled Petaling Jaya adds to its eco-friendly atmosphere.
At the request of its owners, the house must exude a modern “barn look,” which is why its entire façade comprises of modular grey concrete blocks.
The lower section of its plot hosts a car porch fitted with a ramp and staircase, which connects the space to the home’s upper tier.
The top-level is a single-story open living space hosting a series of closed sections and private rooms. As a tribute to nature, the rear ends of the house contains a black koi pond that one can admire from a lounge deck.
4. Ganendra Art House
Architect: Ken Yeang
Upon entering The Ganendra Art House, eco-friendly architecture enthusiasts will immediately appreciate its wind chimney. The downdraft vertical shaft provides the space cooling, naturally.
The opening ends of the house’s gallery areas also permit natural cross-ventilation. So in a very literal sense, the house is a cool space.
A refreshing ‘open-air’ concept permeates the entire premise, with the house’s bathrooms built with louvres panelling offer a natural light-filled shower experience.
But it’s not all unfiltered sunny blasts either, as sunshades and concrete hoods protect all openings and windows from solar radiation.
Set in Petaling Jaya, the Ganendra Art House is not only green in the design but also in its pragmatic function: it doubles as a private house and an exhibition and cultural space.
5. Setia Greens Houses
Developer: SP Setia
Located in Bayan Lepas, Penang, the three-story terrace homes under the Setia Greens stewardship live up to the “green” in their name.
Their eco-friendly nature is shaped by a focus on the efficiency of resource use and reduction of building impact on human and environmental health.
With their rainwater harvesting system, solar water heater, and water-efficient fittings, the homes emphasise respect for water and its relationship with other natural elements.
Meanwhile, they also come equipped with low volatile organic compounds (VOC) paints and a cooling roof system.
6. Courtyard House
Architect: O2 Design Atelier
At first glance, The Courtyard House in Bandar Seri Coalfields, Sungai Buloh may look like a simple terrace house. But there’s a lot more going on under its unassuming terrace facade.
For one, its entire interiors operate the core concept of a traditional Malay courtyard. In layman’s terms: there is an indoor tree garden around which everything else in the house surrounds.
To ensure the concept works, the architects at O2 Design Atelier had to create a double-volume courtyard from scratch.
Working the design meant removing the house’s original upper flow slabs and employing clear polycarbonate roof tiles that stream in natural light.
The zen and minimalist beauty of the house does not go unrecognised. It received a nomination in the residential category by the World Festival of Interior Awards.
7. S11 House
Yet another gorgeous Petaling Jaya-based green home on our list is the S11 House. Initially built in the 1960s, the house was worn out and dilapidated, before undergoing renovation.
Today, it is an eco-friendly space whose foundation revolves around an existing tree canopy comprising of three sculptural frangipani trees, a starfruit tree, and a coconut palm tree.
The house’s industrial minimalist aesthetics are as mindful as it is visually pleasing. Most of the house’s old materials were reused beyond limitations of their original forms.
Think concrete roof tiles crushed into gravel fill; old clay bricks reused in feature walls; and old roofing timbers adapted into structuring props and planks, to name a few.
It’s no wonder why the house rates a coveted platinum spot on Malaysia’s Green Building Index (GBI) ranking!
8. The Amber Residence
Developer: Gamuda Land
One of the best green homes in Malaysia to exist is The Amber Residence. Located in the Twentyfive7 township in Kota Kemuning, this serviced apartment complex comes complete with some environmentally savvy features that hinge on communal living.
Cue the Urban Farm, a designated area that inspires residents to take up gardening. Then, there’s the Rooftop Outdoor Cinema, allows them to gather to watch films and even stargaze together. The Multi-Court, meanwhile, motivates them to engage in team sports.
9. Gasing Indah House
Architect: Seshan Design
The Gasing Indah House in Petaling Jaya was built on a limited budget, though you would not know it from the looks and functions of it.
Originally a two-level intermediate link house, it was transformed into a four-storey smart home that includes a half basement, a master bedroom as its attic, and a compact centre courtyard covered in greenery.
Because of its owners’ financial limitations, the footprint upon which the revamp will exist had to be small. But constraints have a way of inspiring innovation; the architects at Seshan Design relied on the principles of efficient design to make the most of the original space.
The courtyard is the common area wherein natural light comes in and through which air circulates naturally around the house.
Developer: Beneton Properties
With a focus on sustainability luxury, Bangsar’s eclectic RHOMBUS wins on the accounts of beauty, function, and location.
It is the perfect place for environmentally conscious in which urban dwellers can grow their roots. Only 25 units are available for leasing, which adds to their exclusivity.
Appearing precisely as it’s called (a rhombus shape), the residential building registers in the Green Building Index (GBI).
Why? It incorporates the solar photovoltaic (PV) system, which means that it draws its electrical power from sunlight, thus lowering carbon emissions.
So, You Want To Live Green…
Without a doubt, these Malaysian green homes prove that sustainable living is not only possible but also crucial for the health of our environment.
Find yourself inspired by these Malaysian green homes? Dedicate some time to envision the house you see yourself living in for the long run.
If you prefer a ready-made green home that hits all the right notes, then check out our guide to some of the best GBI-certified houses throughout Klang Valley.
But what if you’re one to create your own green home? Then you should consider and look out for these 10 tips and tricks before you start.
Whichever way you choose, there’s no denying that green homes are the way of the future!